Why plastic taste develops in my camelbacks?

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Bert

Forager
Mar 24, 2016
101
18
middle of france
At a certain point I bought two (new) camelbacks as were issued to the UK army in Irak/Afganistan.

all new, labels still attached.
before I started using them, I washed them out with hot water with a tiny bit of bleach, as I always do with new pots and pans.
Then(after rincing well twice) i put in fresh tap water, and went on a 6 hour hike.
I did use the water from the camelbacks though did notice a very plasticy taste, from the both of them???
Coming home, cleaning them again, let them aire dry, and a week later the same thing, going for a hike, fill water, and when I was en route, this ugly taste again???

I do this since years with my (old school) plastic canteens, and have never a problem??
What do I do wrong? (or not?)
Or is this a known problem with those Camelbacks?
 

Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
772
603
41
UK
You'll never get rid of the slight plastic taste im afraid. It comes from water that is trapped in the very tough, molded rubbery plastic mouth price thst you bite to indice the flow of water. The bladder itself is food grade, so doesn't absorb smell or flavouring or impart it into water. Its mouth piece or the tube that causes it.

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Bert

Forager
Mar 24, 2016
101
18
middle of france
Ok, @Van-Wild,
just going a bit further on your idea, wouldn't it be logic that if it is as you said, only a littlebit of water what was standing in the bite piece would taste of plastic, and the water which staid in the (food grade) bladder wouldn't taste of plastic?
If so, that would mean that if I sucked about 1/8th of a liter water (which has stood in the mouth piece, and so absorbed the plastic taste) and spew out, to get rid of the plastic taste, and then suck in some more water out of the bladder, I have lost the plastic taste! (Yes, I'm happy!)
Because the plastic taste cannot transfer to the water, only in that little time the water needs to pass from the bladder into your mouth.

But in the case of my Camelbacks, even if I drink say half a liter from the Camelback, the plastic taste is still there.

So, I really think something else is going on. (the taste is also coming from tha bladder I think.)
 
Apr 8, 2009
1,111
88
Ashdown Forest
I find that the 'Source' type bladders have no real taste to them, in contrast, I always have taste in my camelbak (but I also got used to it so don't really mind). As a point of interest, I was once told never to put anything other than water in my main bladder - as you never know when you might need the water for cuts, burns, washing out eyes etc!
 
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Van-Wild

Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
772
603
41
UK
Ok, @Van-Wild,
just going a bit further on your idea, wouldn't it be logic that if it is as you said, only a littlebit of water what was standing in the bite piece would taste of plastic, and the water which staid in the (food grade) bladder wouldn't taste of plastic?
If so, that would mean that if I sucked about 1/8th of a liter water (which has stood in the mouth piece, and so absorbed the plastic taste) and spew out, to get rid of the plastic taste, and then suck in some more water out of the bladder, I have lost the plastic taste! (Yes, I'm happy!)
Because the plastic taste cannot transfer to the water, only in that little time the water needs to pass from the bladder into your mouth.

But in the case of my Camelbacks, even if I drink say half a liter from the Camelback, the plastic taste is still there.

So, I really think something else is going on. (the taste is also coming from tha bladder I think.)
The mouth piece isn't food grade plastic. Youre putting plastic in your mouth and biting on it. It has water trapped inside it, which mixes with your saliva = you taste plastic....

I never mentioned logic mate......

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Bert

Forager
Mar 24, 2016
101
18
middle of france
well, I got the bladder, and poured out a glass of water which was in the bladder for 24H (at least).
I must say that there was a very slight taste of plastic, less then I recall, but that might have been because I only use the CB in summer, when temperatures are warmer?
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,609
706
Vantaa, Finland
there was a very slight taste of plastic
OK now the working empirical hypothesis is that the bladder itself (at least that version) might give some taste to the water. Without knowing the exact material commenting on it is well impossible. One further test that might bring some more information is to pour in as hot water as the manufacturer allows and then allow it to cool back to room temp and do the tasting again. That way the effect of temperature would become clearer. Higher temp water should leach out more "taste". If not that would be kind of weird.
 
Mar 6, 2020
326
211
Hemel Hempstead
well, I got the bladder, and poured out a glass of water which was in the bladder for 24H (at least).
I must say that there was a very slight taste of plastic, less then I recall, but that might have been because I only use the CB in summer, when temperatures are warmer?
Can't believe you didn't do a control, with half the water being drunk through the pipe, and half poured into a glass. Any chance of a rerun? (please)
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,609
706
Vantaa, Finland
The idea of a control is basically good but tasting water is delicate as very surprising things seem to affect it. Like distilled water or melt from snow and in some cases water that has been boiled and allowed to cool. So getting the right control is not necessarily easy, here I would suggest good spring water but apparently springs are nnot that common in UK.
 

Bert

Forager
Mar 24, 2016
101
18
middle of france
I'll see what I can do.
I must say that I discovered this for the first time when I used my CB in summertime with regular tap water.
I filled myCB, went for a hike, and after only 2 or 3 hours I sipped water, and thought that I hadn't cleaned my CB well enough, hence the taste of plastic.
then the temperature was at least 18*C.
I'll try again, and after that I try with the warm water.curious.
 

MrEd

Full Member
Feb 18, 2010
1,771
635
Surrey/Sussex
www.thetimechamber.co.uk
You could fill the camelbak with bottled spring water to make a control, and you could sample from
- the bladder direct into a cup
- the bladder into a cup via the plastic drinking tube
- spring water direct into the cup from the same bottle as used to fill the camelbak
 
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